26. The Holy Ka'aba
Construction of Ka'aba
Literally, kaaba in Arabic means a high place with respect and prestige. The word kaaba may also be derivative of a word meaning a cube. Some of these other names include:
1. Bait ul Ateeq - which means, according to one meaning, the earliest and ancient. According to the second meaning, it means independent and liberating. Both meanings could be taken.
2. Bait ul Haram - the honorable house.
I. The Kaaba "reflects" a house in heaven called al-Baytu l-Maʿmur (Arabic: البيت المعمور) and this Ka’aba was first built by the first man, Adam. Therefore the very first construction of the Kaaba was done by Prophet Adam. Allah says in the Holy Quran that this was the first house built for humanity, to worship Allah.
When water of zamzam was seen by a caravan of tribe Jurhum they requested Hajra for settling nearby and the tribe of Jurhum settled there.
After this, Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail rebuilt the Kaaba.
On getting a command of Allah, Prophet Ibrahim had constructed the sacred house of Allah with the support of his son Ismail. During construction work they kept praying to Allah. “ Our Lord ! Accept this service from us : for you are All-Hearing , Knowing and most Merciful”
When Ibrahim, the Close One to Allah, built the Sacred House, he made it according to the given specifications. There was no roof. He had also made a door frame but did not fix it. It remained as it is until Tubba of Himiar tribe made the door and fix it in the sacred house.
II. The Ka`aba remained for centuries then it collapsed, the tribe of Amaliqah had reconstucted it. It lasted for several years.
III. As a result of torrential rains, one of its wall cracked but did not collapse.The tribe Jurhum repaired the wall and added two latches and a lock the door.
IV. The Ka`aba was renovated by Qusai bin Kilab,he had also covered it with a roof.
V. Abdul Muttalib the grand father of the Prophet dug the well of Zamzam at the same place where it was ( Zamzam remained hidden till Abdul Muttalib dug it again). He received great honor and influence among his own people.
VI. THE CONSTRUCTION BY QURAISH
Once, at the time when Allah's Messenger (saws) had reached adulthood, the fire seriously damaged the Ka`bah. As a result, people pulled the Ka`bah down. Then, they started to build it again. When the work reached the point of placing the Black Stone, a quarrel broke out among them regarding which tribe would have the honour of raising it into its proper place. Eventually, they agreed that the first man to enter the gate of Banu Shaibah should decide for them. Allah's Messenger (saws) happened to be the first to enter. He then asked for a cloth on which he placed the Stone in the middle. He ordered every tribe's man to hold an end of that cloth. Together they all lifted it into its place. Then, Allah's Messenger (saws) fixed it in its proper position.
The Black Stone or Hajre Aswad
The Black Stone is a significant feature of the Kaaba, It is believed that during construction of Ka’aba Ibrahim (as) asked his son Ismail to bring one stone to be fixed at one corner of Ka’aba. When Ismail brought the stone, Ibrahim fixed it at the eastern corner of the Ka’aba and made this as a starting point for tawaf. This is now known as Hajre Aswad which is about 30 cm (12 inch) in diameter and surrounded by a silver frame. Although not strictly obligatory, pilgrims can kiss the Stone, as Mohammad (saws) is said to have done.
Narrated 'Abis bin Rabia: Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said, "No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone. Had I not seen God's Apostle kissing you, I would not have kissed you."
VII. THE CONSTRUCTION BY `ABDULLAH BIN AL-ZUBAIR
In the era of Yazid bin Mu`awiah, the House [Ka`bah] was damaged by fire. Ibn Al-Zubair repaired the Ka`bah. In addition, he covered it with Qabati (Egyptian linen cloth).`
VIII. THE CONSTRUCTION BY SULTAN MURAD KHAN OF OTTOMAN EMPIRE (Saltanate Osmania)
In Mecca, a very heavy rain, started on Wednesday the 19th Sh`ban, 1039 AH and developed into a violent torrential rain which swept away most of the Sacred Mosque. The rain lasted for a long time leaving people in great turmoil. The Muslim began to prepare for rebuilding the ka`aba . The construction took place by 2nd of Zil Hajj in 1040 AH and it took about six and a half month.
IX. RECONSTRUCTION OF KA'ABA DONE IN 1996
A major reconstruction of the Kaaba took place between May 1996 and October 1996. This was after a period of about 400 years (since Sultan Murad Khan's time). During this reconstruction the only original thing left from the Kaaba are the stones. All other material has been replaced including the ceiling and its wood.
X. What is inside the Kaaba?
I have the honour to go inside the Ka’aba on 10th of June 2013, prayed, recited 6 rakats inside and supplicate for family members and for all the Muslims. Further I would like to describe the following ;
There are three pillars inside in the centre of cube
There are few lantern-type lamps hanging from the ceiling
The space can accommodate about 40 people
There are no electric lights inside
The walls and floors are of neat marble and marble tiles
There are no windows inside
There is only one door and another is closed
The upper inside walls of the Kaaba were covered with some kind of curtain.
XI. The Size of Kaaba:
The current height of the kaaba is 39 feet, 6 inches and total size comes to 627 square feet. The inside room of the kaaba is 36.6 x 25.5 feet. The kaaba's walls are 3.3 feet thick. The floor inside is 7.2 feet higher than the place where people perform Tawaf.
The ceiling and roof are two levels made out of wood. They were reconstructed with teak which is capped with stainless steel. The walls are all made of stone are polished from outside.